A Beginner’s Guide to Managing Your WordPress Plugins

WordPress – the popular blogging software used by millions of professional and personal bloggers worldwide — makes it possible to create a complete website in a short time using a variety of WordPress themes, widgets and plugins. These options allow users to customize WordPress sites quickly and easily, but installing and managing WordPress plugins can be challenging.

WordPress Plugins Management

What is WordPress?

Potential WordPress users may be confused by the two versions currently available: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress is a free, open source blogging software platform that can be installed on existing websites or used to create a complete, blog-based website with its own domain name on an external host. Some hosts offer complete WordPress integration, while others require additional steps for installing the software.

Hosting providers and other businesses use phone wire technologies such as T1 and ethernet over copper. Business t1 providers offer packages for consistent signal service over long distances. The benefits of ethernet over copper vs. t1, however, include larger bandwidth over shorter distances, offering another option for consistent connectivity.

The benefits of ethernet over copper vs t1 include wider bandwidth in a more concentrated area – a useful option for some hosting services. Whatever the platform hosting WordPress, the software is highly editable for customizing, and a wide range of add-ons allow users to create shopping carts, email autoresponders and social media connections.

WordPress.com is the blog-hosting version of WordPress. Users can create personal blogs using the WordPress basic installation but this version offers limited editability – users cannot change the code or theme content. Basic blogging services are free, but domain names are not allowed: all URLs follow the format “myblog.wordpress.com.” Unlike the independently hosted versions of WordPress, WordPress.com does not allow users to post affiliate links or other advertising to monetize the blog.

Because of the limitations of WordPress.com, many dedicated bloggers prefer to install WordPress for free on their own blog host, which allows more flexibility and options for customizing the site. One of the easiest ways to customize WordPress and increase its functionality is by adding plugins from WordPress’ extensive directory of proprietary and third-party plugins.

WordPress Plugins

Plugins do exactly as the name implies — these small pieces of external software are “plugged in” to the existing program to add a particular kind of function not in the basic version. Plugins may run entirely within the source code of the program or be represented externally by a widget that runs the plugin directly from the site.

Activating WordPress plugins is simple. Once the WordPress software is installed on a website, go to your site’s Dashboard and from the Appearance menu, select Plugins. This opens WordPress’ plugin directory.

Select the plugin you want and click Install. When you return to your dashboard, the plugin will appear in your Plugins list. Click Activate to make the plugin active and adjust its Settings. Plugins can be deactivated or removed at any time.

Although adding plugins in WordPress is relatively easy, problems do happen. WordPress goes through frequent updates, so it’s important to check any plugin to be installed, in order to determine if it works with your version. Also, some plugins come from third party developers. In rare cases corrupted or nonworking plugins can disrupt code sequences and block users from accessing their sites. Users can access their site’s file management protocol and remove the non-responding file, or restore a previous version of the software.

Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com offer tools for making blogging easy but only WordPress.org offers its wide array of plugins to customize the site. Although using WordPress plugins can seem challenging, their easy installation and removal makes it easy to customize a site for every blogging need.

- Written by Jenna -

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